CSAC Bulletin Article

State’s Top Health Official Resigns

August 13, 2020

Governor Newsom declined to elaborate today on the resignation of the state’s leading public health official, Dr. Sonia Angell. Dr. Angell submitted her resignation Sunday night, nearly two weeks after the state first revealed a major technical glitch affecting positive COVID-19 case data.

The Governor insisted that the backlog of data in the state’s CalREDIE laboratory reporting system had been processed over the weekend and sent to counties for validation and demographic details before being publicly available within the week. 

Dr. Angell had only been the state’s top public health official for 10 months – five of those during the unprecedented worldwide coronavirus pandemic. She served as the state’s Public Health Officer with the power to issue statewide public health orders as well as the Director of the California Department of Public Health (CDPH).

In her wake, the Governor has appointed Sandra Shewry as interim CDPH Director, and elevated Dr. Erica Pan from state epidemiologist to state health officer. Ms. Shewry has extensive experience in health care policy and previously served as Director of the former California Department of Health and Welfare. Dr. Pan was most recently the local Health Officer in Alameda County, and will be an asset to the state’s COVID-19 battle.

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